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Thursday, April 19 Sports

Ross takes first at FCIAC diving championships

To share at title once isn't all bad.

But to share a title as a high school senior isn't a palatable scenario.

So New Canaan High School's Bobby Ross took care of business and defeated a field of 20 to capture the 2014 FCIAC Boys Diving Championship.

"To be the sole FCIAC boys diving champion feels very good. Tying with (Darien High's) Lee Christensen last year wasn't bad because we've been good friends for a long time," Ross said. "But this year I can say that the title is all mine. It's a friendly rivalry with Lee so there's a lot of personal value for me in the FCIAC diving title."

Ross finished the 11 rounds of diving at the Westhill High pool Wednesday night with 450.55 points. The drama was for second place as Christensen (411.35 points) nipped Darien teammate Timmy Luz (411.15).

"I thought I dove very well. I didn't think I missed any of the 11 dives," Luz said. "But the important part was collecting as many points as possible for Darien."

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Indeed. Darien registered 57 points for Thursday's FCIAC Boys Swim Championship while New Canaan collected 41.

It was a big night for Greenwich High as well. The Cardinals had 44 points in all thanks to Andrew Bologna (4th, 399.65 points), freshman Justin Sodokoff (5th, 397.65) and Jeff Aselin (7th, 368.95).

"I'm so proud of my guys," said Greenwich High boys diving coach Sergey Meshcherskiy. "The FCIAC Diving is so competitive. We had a couple of mistakes. But our results were very significant. Especially since Justin (Sodokoff) is a freshman. And Andrew (Bologna's) score was close to All-American consideration. We expect even better things in the state diving meets."

But the evening ultimately belonged to Ross, who will be attending Harvard University in the fall.

Ross, who scored 425 points last year while tying Darien's Christensen, had a lone hiccup on his dive in Round 4. But he responded in Rounds 5 and 6 to keep the competition well at bay.

"Bobby has worked so hard this season," said New Canaan High diving coach Joe Somma. "Our focus has been on increasing the difficulty of his diving repetoire. He had dives with a 3.1 and a 3.2 degree of difficulty and that's how you score. Bobby has been consistent and it showed the way he bounced back from that one shaky dive tonight."

Ross has taken his responsibilities as a senior on the NC diving team very seriously.

"Being a senior captain has great meaning to me," Ross said. "I like being the leader. I hold myself to a high standard. I'm looking forward to Harvard in the fall. But tonight is just the first step of finishing my senior year strong. I will be pushing even harder the next two weeks at the state championship and the State Open diving."

The following day at the boys swimming finals, New Canaan's Thomas Dunstan staked a first-place finish in the 100 freestyle with a time of 46.91 seconds.

Later, New Canaan's Stefan Pla won the breaststroke title in 1:00.66. Iain Edmundson of Greenwich was the runner-up (1:00.92) and Christopher Woods of Staples took third (1:01.17). Pla's victory marked the ninth time in 10 years the Rams won the conference title in the breaststroke.

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"Pla has been doing it for us all year," New Canaan coach David Fine said. "It's nice for our team to keep that breaststroke title. Dunstan is a talented swimmer he has also been leading us all season."

Greenwich, who hosted both the swimming trials and finals, won the overall meet. The Cards took the 200 freestyle relay in 1:27.06 and won the 400 freestyle with a time of 3:13.59.

David Fierro contribued to this report.